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Inquiring Minds

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Each week Inquiring Minds brings you a new, in-depth exploration of the place where science, politics, and society collide. We’re committed to the idea that making an effort to understand the world around you through science and critical thinking can benefit everyone—and lead to better decisions. We endeavor to find out what’s true, what’s left to discover, and why it all matters with weekly coverage of the latest headlines and probing discussions with leading scientists and thinkers.




The Great American Solar Eclipse

We talk to astronomer Andrew Fraknoi about the upcoming total solar eclipse—the first total solar eclipse over North America in decades—on August 21st, 2017, and how you can best enjoy it.

Duration: 00:30:24

The Science of Game of Thrones

We talk to English comedian and writer Helen Keen about her new book The Science of Game of Thrones: A myth-busting, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping and fun-filled expedition through the world of Game of Thrones.

Duration: 00:36:16

Why Are We Curious?

We talk to acclaimed astrophysicist Mario Livio about his new book Why?: What Makes Us Curious.

Duration: 00:45:16

We've Got to Start Eating Insects

We talk to entomologist Brian Fisher about his his research on ants in Mozambique and his new initiative to get entomologists more directly involved in conservation—a big part of which involves edible insects.

Duration: 00:50:45

186 Jason Silva - Origins: The Journey of Humankind

We talk to Jason Silva, host of National Geographic Channel’s new show Origins: The Journey of Humankind.

Duration: 00:38:03

185 Jennifer Latson - A True Story of Pathological Friendliness

We talk to journalist Jennifer Latson about Williams syndrome and her new book The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness.

Duration: 00:44:42

184 Zeynep Tufekci - Twitter and Tear Gas

We talk to Zeynep Tufekci, writer and associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, about her book Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest.

Duration: 00:42:50

183 Dean Buonomano - The Neuroscience and Physics of Time

We talk to neuroscientist Dean Buonomano about his new book “Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time.”

Duration: 00:52:11

182 Ty Tashiro - The Science of Being Awkward

We talk to psychologist Ty Tashiro about his new book “Awkward: The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward & Why That's Awesome.”

Duration: 00:52:41

181 Mike Drucker - How to Write Science Into Comedy

We talk to Mike Drucker, co-head writer for Bill Nye Saves the World, writer for Adam Ruins Everything, the Tonight Show, and much more about incorporating science into comedy writing.

Duration: 00:41:31

180 The Unique Challenge of Being a Woman in Engineering [Collaboration with Cited]

In this second and final special collaborative episode with the Cited podcast, Indre and guest host Alexander B. Kim focus on women in engineering and the obstacles they face throughout their careers.

Duration: 00:48:28

179 The Leaky Pipeline of Women in Science [Collaboration with Cited]

In this special collaborative episode with the Cited podcast, Indre and guest host Alexander B. Kim look into the “leaky pipeline” of women in science. There are many stages you go through from early school to a career in science and there are points along the way at which women seem to disproportionately slip out of that pipeline. This week we talk to researchers trying to learn more about why that happens and what we can do about it.

Duration: 00:56:06

178 Teresa Zimmers - The Murky Science of Lethal Injection

We talk to associate professor of surgery at Indiana University Teresa Zimmers about her work on whether or not lethal injection drugs actually provide a humane, painless death as promised.

Duration: 00:29:54

177 Bill Nye - Let’s Change the World

We talk to Bill Nye about his approach to communicating climate change and what he hopes will change in the future.

Duration: 00:27:34

176 Paul Doherty - The Actual Science Behind Outlandish Deaths

We talk to Paul Doherty, senior staff scientist at San Francisco’s famed Exploratorium Museum about his new book “And Then You're Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling over Niagara.”

Duration: 00:29:58

175 Sharon Begley - Can't Just Stop: An Investigation of Compulsions

We talk to science writer Sharon Begley about her new book “Can't Just Stop: An Investigation of Compulsions.”

Duration: 00:46:50

174 James Beacham - The Exciting World of Particle Hunters

We talk to James Beacham, particle physicist with the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN about what it’s like to hunt for strange new subatomic particles.

Duration: 00:45:20

[BONUS EP] Cadence | Episode 01: What Is Music?

It's the first episode of Indre's new podcast, Cadence! (Don’t worry, she’s not leaving Inquiring Minds.) Cadence is a podcast about music and how it affects your mind. What is music? How would you define it? Does it defy definition? In this episode we try to get answers to those questions from from a pioneer in music cognition research, a musicologist, and an otolaryngologist who surgically restores hearing and studies the brain basis of musical improvisation. If you like this first...

Duration: 00:21:15

173 Mary Roach - Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

We talk to science writer Mary Roach about the science of your guts and her book “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.”

Duration: 00:35:56

172 Dan Ariely - The Surprising Science of What Motivates Us

We talk to Dan Ariely, the James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University about what actually motivates us to get things done—to finish that novel, to stick to a diet, or even to want to get up and go to work every day.

Duration: 00:34:06

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